How can I restore windows 8.1 from windows.old folder that was created when doing a system restore?

A friend accidentally did a full system restore in Windows 8.1 (DELL Laptop), creating in the process a Windows.old folder which has the old install. This is a UEFI system, if that matters. The primary issue is a program he needs and cannot reinstall, that exists only in the old install.

I may have inaccurately described the process he used - all his data folders are still there, just not the programs.

Thanks
LTGAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You would have to try to roll back the Windows 8 install (PC Settings, Recovery options).

You can open Windows.old (if I remember correctly) but it is unlikely to have the program in a form that can be used.

If time has gone by, rollback may not be practical either.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, as I re-read the question, I am thinking the person did a Windows 8 Refresh (not a Restore). In this case, programs that did not come with Windows 8 are deleted (not saved in Windows.old) and only data is kept. That explains what you are seeing.
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LTGAuthor Commented:
No, the program he needs does seem to be there in windows.old but won't run from there. I am thinking, whatever he did, it probably also created a new registry so the hooks are not there for the program any more. I'll look at Recovery Options and see if it gives me the option to go back. I'll let you know. Thanks!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
See what happens. Programs need the registry as well as the program folders to run. Please let us know when you have had an opportunity to test.
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LTGAuthor Commented:
I read that restoring from the windows.old folder might create an unstable system. I ended up just installing all the drivers needed, purchasing new software - it turned out to not be as expensive as I anticipated.

Thanks, anyway. I
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LTGAuthor Commented:
Most helpful answer, even though I ended not using it.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@LTG  - Thank you, and I was happy to help. Good luck with the new software.
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